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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

Dear Present me: don’t forget the outliers

Arpita Das
A picture of me moments before visiting a college I would never apply to in Boston.

Dear present me, 

What about the outliers?

Senior year:  The twelfth grade is a student’s fourth and final year of high school education. The year and the student are both referred to as senior. 

This is the definition of a senior, according to Google, but my definition of it is distinctive from this description. To me, this is what the term means. 

Senior year: A student’s last year of high school filled with the nostalgia of it all, the stress of college applications, and the last “firsts” of every high school tradition. 

This is what senior year means to me, and recently, I have really connected to a lot of the decision-making that comes with being in 12th grade—specifically, college applications. When given the choice to consider between what college to go to and what to major in, I’ve narrowed down both. But I was still debating on the college I had dreamed about going to ever since the 9th grade. 

I’ve heard enough stories to be able to say that the schools I’m applying to are special to me. Regardless of the schools that hold prestige, fortunately, this has not been a deciding factor for me which is why I’ve committed to the 10 colleges on my list. 

It’s time for me to find a school that highlights me for who I am—an outlier—because we can’t forget about them, and this is why. 

All of my friends have told me about the college chaos but also that no matter what college you go to, it won’t really matter because university is really just a tool to get you to where you want to be. 

Even though this one university I’m not applying to is known for its fame and is the closest thing you can get to an Ivy League without actually attending an Ivy League, my opinions over not applying there have evolved over time. 

At first, I wanted to apply here because everyone else I knew was applying. Many of my siblings’ friends got in and have had amazing experiences with the campus, football games, and overall academics. 

But this dream didn’t seem attainable because I felt like the biggest outlier, which almost prevented me from applying. My academics fall within the range, but my quarries were surrounded by the question of “Am I good enough?” 

It feels quite contradictory for me to feel this way because I’ve visited the campus at least once a year for club competitions and have found my way around the campus, so what changed?

Well for one, when it comes to what a university has to offer, even though some essay questions in an application ask “Why us?” for me, there are more factors that go beyond why a school is a good fit or not. 

For one, I look for what safety nets, mental health resources, and environment they have to offer to the students. Hence the reason that prestige is at the bottom of my list of requirements. 

All of this reasoning only goes to show as evidence that leads back to me and my decision. I want to be an outlier because I’ve been one my whole life and there’s no point in ending that now. 

At first, I wanted to apply there because I’ve familiarized myself with the campus so much and because it had an incredible school designated towards my major: business. 

But then the more and more I reflected on the decision, the more I was leaning towards the choice to not apply, and here is why. Although I have every right and reason to apply, the school’s puzzle piece didn’t seem to fit correctly for me. 

And as much as my love for this school is unmatched by the honor that it holds, it was time for me to say goodbye to it on the Common Application. It’s time for me to find a school that highlights me for who I am—an outlier—because we can’t forget about them.


Present me 

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About the Contributor
Arpita Das
Arpita Das, Publicity Editor
Arpita is a senior entering her third and final year as a staff writer on The Central Trend. She has been a part of the Science Olympiad team since the 7th grade but made the tough decision choice to step down this year. However, Arpita still keeps herself busy working once a week with kids on Thursdays and being a part of clubs such as Model UN and DECA. When Arpita isn't writing, you will often find her rewatching The Flash on Netflix, playing the piano, doing press on nails, going on walks, studying at the library, and visiting new coffee shops. Despite the fact that it's her last year of high school, she is so excited to see what senior year has in store for her and is curious to see what pieces of writing she will produce. Car: A black Volvo SUV that goes by the name of Ali whom Arpita adores. Favorite food and color: The Fettuccine Alfredo from Olive Garden and Navy Blue Favorite class: Advanced Writing for Publication and Honors Model UN Favorite actor from The Flash: Grand Gustin, also known as Barry Allen Does she have an unhealthy obsession with The Flash? Yes, yes she does, and she always will!  

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